News Column

"Coaxial Cable Continuity Connector" in Patent Application Approval Process

September 10, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- A patent application by the inventors Burris, Donald Andrew (Peoria, AZ); Lutz, William Bernard (Glendale, AZ), filed on March 14, 2013, was made available online on August 28, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application has not been assigned to a company or institution.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The disclosure relates generally to coaxial cable connectors, and particularly to a coaxial cable connector having a continuity member.

"Coaxial cable connectors, such as type F connectors, are used to attach coaxial cable to another object or appliance, e.g., a television set, DVD player, modem or other electronic communication device having a terminal adapted to engage the connector. The terminal of the appliance includes an inner conductor and a surrounding outer conductor.

"Coaxial cable includes a center conductor for transmitting a signal. The center conductor is surrounded by a dielectric material, and the dielectric material is surrounded by an outer conductor. The outer conductor may be in the form of a conductive foil and/or braided sheath. The outer conductor is typically maintained at ground potential to shield the signal transmitted by the center conductor from stray noise, and to maintain a continuous, desired impedance over the signal path. The outer conductor is usually surrounded by a plastic cable jacket that electrically insulates, and mechanically protects, the outer conductor. Prior to installing a coaxial connector onto an end of the coaxial cable, the end of the coaxial cable is typically prepared by stripping off the end portion of the jacket to expose the end portion of the outer conductor. Similarly, it is common to strip off a portion of the dielectric to expose the end portion of the center conductor.

"Coaxial cable connectors of the type known in the trade as 'F connectors' often include a tubular post designed to slide over the dielectric material, and under the outer conductor of the coaxial cable, at the prepared end of the coaxial cable. If the outer conductor of the cable includes a braided sheath, then the exposed braided sheath is usually folded back over the cable jacket. The cable jacket and folded-back outer conductor extend generally around the outside of the tubular post and are typically received in an outer body of the connector. The outer body of the connector is often fixedly secured to the tubular post. A coupler is typically rotatably secured around the tubular post and includes an internally-threaded region for engaging external threads formed on the outer conductor of the appliance terminal. Alternatively or additionally, the coupler may friction fit, screw and/or latch on to the outer conductor of the appliance terminal.

"When connecting the end of a coaxial cable to a terminal of a television set, equipment box, modem, computer or other appliance, it is important to achieve a reliable electrical connection between the outer conductor of the coaxial cable and the outer conductor of the appliance terminal. Typically, this goal is usually achieved by ensuring that the coupler of the connector is fully tightened over the connection port of the appliance. When fully tightened, the head of the tubular post of the connector directly engages the edge of the outer conductor of the appliance port, thereby making a direct electrical ground connection between the outer conductor of the appliance port and the tubular post. The tubular post is engaged with the outer conductor of the coaxial cable.

"The increased use of self-install kits provided to home owners by some CATV system operators has resulted in customer complaints due to poor picture quality in video systems and/or poor data performance in computer/internet systems. Additionally, CATV system operators have found upstream data problems induced by entrance of unwanted RF signals into their systems. Complaints of this nature result in CATV system operators having to send a technician to address the issue. Often times it is reported by the technician that the cause of the problem is due to a loose F connector fitting, sometimes as a result of inadequate installation of the self-install kit by the homeowner. An improperly installed or loose connector may result in poor signal transfer because there are discontinuities along the electrical path between the devices, resulting in ingress of undesired radio frequency ('RF') signals where RF energy from an external source or sources may enter the connector/cable arrangement causing a signal to noise ratio problem resulting in an unacceptable picture or data performance. Many of the current state of the art F connectors rely on intimate contact between the F male connector interface and the F female connector interface. If, for some reason, the connector interfaces are allowed to pull apart from each other, such as in the case of a loose F male coupler, an interface 'gap' may result. If not otherwise protected this gap can be a point of RF ingress as previously described.

"As mentioned above, the coupler is typically rotatably secured about the head of the tubular post. The head of the tubular post usually includes an enlarged shoulder, and the coupler typically includes an inwardly-directed flange for extending over and around the shoulder of the tubular post. In order not to interfere with free rotation of the coupler, manufacturers of such F-style connectors routinely make the outer diameter of the shoulder (at the head of the tubular post) of smaller dimension than the inner diameter of the central bore of the coupler. Likewise, manufacturers routinely make the inner diameter of the inwardly-directed flange of the coupler of larger dimension than the outer diameter of the non-shoulder portion of the tubular post, again to avoid interference with rotation of the coupler relative to the tubular post. In a loose connection system, wherein the coupler of the coaxial connector is not drawn tightly to the appliance port connector, an alternate ground path may fortuitously result from contact between the coupler and the tubular post, particularly if the coupler is not centered over, and axially aligned with, the tubular post. However, this alternate ground path is not stable, and can be disrupted as a result of vibrations, movement of the appliance, movement of the cable, or the like.

"Alternatively, there are some cases in which such an alternate ground path is provided by fortuitous contact between the coupler and the outer body of the coaxial connector, provided that the outer body is formed from conductive material. This alternate ground path is similarly unstable, and may be interrupted by relative movement between the appliance and the cable, or by vibrations. Moreover, this alternate ground path does not exist at all if the outer body of the coaxial connector is constructed of non-conductive material. Such unstable ground paths can give rise to intermittent failures that are costly and time-consuming to diagnose."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "One embodiment disclosed herein relates to a coaxial connector for coupling an end of a coaxial cable to an equipment appliance port or terminal. The coaxial cable has an inner conductor, a dielectric surrounding the inner conductor, an outer conductor surrounding the dielectric, and a jacket surrounding the outer conductor. The coaxial cable connector comprises a body, a coupler rotatably attached to the body, and a post secured to the body. The post has a structural feature. A grounding member is disposed between the post and the coupler in the structural feature. The grounding member establishes an electrical grounding path which may be maintained between coupler and post, including, when the coupler is not tightly fastened to an appliance port.

"Another embodiment disclosed herein relates to a coaxial cable connector for coupling an end of a coaxial cable to an equipment appliance port or terminal. The coaxial cable has an inner conductor, a dielectric surrounding the inner conductor, an outer conductor surrounding the dielectric, and a jacket surrounding the outer conductor. The connector has a body, a coupler rotatably attached to the body with the coupler having a lip with a forward facing surface, and a post secured to the body. The post has a first end, a head, a neck, and a second end, and a structural feature. A grounding member having an arcuate shape is disposed in and retained by the structural feature between the post and the coupler. The grounding member is resilient and biased toward coupler and establishes an electrical grounding path between the post and the coupler such that the electrical grounding path is maintained between the post and the coupler when the coupler is not tightly fastened to an appliance port. The structural feature may be a groove in the post or formed by a tapered portion and a first radial face of the post.

"Additional features and advantages will be set forth in the detailed description which follows, and in part will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art from that description or recognized by practicing the embodiments as described in the detailed description and claims hereof, as well as the appended drawings.

"It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are merely exemplary, and are intended to provide an overview or framework to understanding the nature and character of the claims.

"The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding, and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate one or more embodiment(s), and together with the description serve to explain principles and operation of the various embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a coaxial connector comprising a post, a grounding member and a coupler having a secondary bore with a tapered transition and the post includes a structural feature in the form of a channel;

"FIG. 1A is a detail cross-sectional view of a portion of the coaxial connector of FIG. 2 illustrating the post, grounding member and coupler;

"FIG. 1B is a detail, perspective view of the continuity member of the coaxial connector of FIG. 1;

"FIG. 1C is a detail, plan view of the continuity member of the coaxial connector of FIG. 1;

"FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a coaxial connector comprising a post, a grounding member and a coupler having a uniform bore without a tapered transition and the post includes a structural feature in the form of a channel;

"FIG. 2A is a detail, cross-sectional view of a portion of the coaxial connector of FIG. 2 illustrating the post, grounding member and coupler;

"FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a coaxial connector comprising a post, a grounding member and a coupler having a uniform bore without a tapered transition and the post includes a structural feature in the form of a circumferential groove;

"FIG. 3A is a detail, cross-sectional view of a portion of the coaxial connector of FIG. 3 illustrating the post, grounding member and coupler;

"FIG. 3B is a detail, perspective view of the continuity member of the coaxial connector of FIG. 3;

"FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a coaxial connector comprising a post having a tapered portion between a first radial face and a second radial face, a grounding member and a coupler;

"FIG. 4A is a detail, cross-sectional view of a portion of the coaxial connector of FIG. 4 illustrating the post, grounding member and coupler;

"FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a coaxial connector comprising a post, a coupler, and a grounding member having an overlapping structure with a circular cross-section;

"FIG. 5A is a detail, cross-sectional view of a portion of the coaxial connector of FIG. 5 illustrating the post, grounding member and coupler;

"FIG. 5B is a detail, perspective view of the continuity member of the coaxial connector of FIG. 5;

"FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of an exemplary embodiment of a coaxial connector comprising a post, a coupler, and a grounding member having an overlapping structure with a flattened cross section and a coupler;

"FIG. 6A is a detail, cross-sectional view of a portion of the coaxial connector of FIG. 6 illustrating the post, grounding member and coupler;

"FIG. 6B is a perspective view of the continuity member of the coaxial connector of FIG. 6;

"FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the exemplary embodiment of coaxial cable connector of FIG. 1 with a cable fully inserted and the connector compressed to capture the cable. The connector of FIG. 1 is illustrated as attached to a terminal."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Burris, Donald Andrew; Lutz, William Bernard. Coaxial Cable Continuity Connector. Filed March 14, 2013 and posted August 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=2596&p=52&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140821.PD.&OS=PD/20140821&RS=PD/20140821

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Patents.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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